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Blog by Greg Brown, Active Lincolnshire Children and Young People lead
Enhancing positive experiences for children and young people is pivotal in the work that we are undertaking at Active Lincolnshire. I am delighted to share with you some of the fantastic innovative and collaborative work that has recently taken part.
We know from the recent report: ‘Understanding the Economic Impact and Future Potential of Greater Lincolnshire’s Sport, Physical Activity & Leisure Sector’ that we need to support the workforce. In the report it identified that the sector needs to be supported to develop a more targeted and relevant offer. Not only this, but more importantly the workforce needs to be more reflective of the diversity of the population and their needs. Through collaboration with JB Sport Coaching and the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) team at Lincolnshire County Council we set out to achieve this.
The HAF programme is government funded scheme which provides free holiday clubs for children in reception to year 11 who are in receipt of benefits related free school meals. It is designed to ensure a high-quality experience for children resulting in receiving healthy and nutritious meals and maintaining a healthy level of physical activity. It was brought to our attention that some providers had barriers that prevented them offering the children attending their clubs the best possible experiences of sport and physical activity.
The HAF team identified five providers that would benefit from support, both in terms of provision of equipment necessary for delivery and specific training allowing them to enhance and enrich children’s experiences within movement, sport and physical activity at the holiday clubs. They successfully applied for a Together Fund grant in order to develop a workshop and purchase the necessary sports equipment to support the providers.
Before the Easter delivery period for HAF we set about creating a workshop with JB Sport Coaching based on feedback from the providers. It was identified that support was needed in terms of how to differentiate to ensure all participants needs are met and how to ensure inclusivity is at the heart of design and delivery. JB Sport Coaching used their wealth of knowledge and experience in delivering high quality sport and physical activity to expertly design a workshop suited to the needs of the providers. The workshop was a huge success with all attendees increasing their knowledge, confidence and competence in being able to deliver sport and physical activity at their settings. Not only this, but they left with a vast amount of equipment to be able to offer the children a broad and wide range of activities that some have not been able to access before. With support from Activity Alliance we were also able to provide a resource pack containing a plethora of games/activities and how these can be adapted to suit the needs of the individual.
JB Sport Coaching delivering a training session.
It was evident on follow up visits to the providers that the training and resources will be invaluable in providing their children with inclusive and varied opportunities to be active. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of the children and to hear that some have accessed sports and activities that they previously haven’t been able to. In addition to supporting the children at the HAF holiday camps this has further benefits. The providers were early years/wrap around settings that can use their new-found skills in offering fantastic opportunities and experiences to the children within their care. This would not have been possible without all parties working collaboratively and innovatively to ensure we make a difference.
If you would like to hear more about the work Active Lincolnshire are doing within creating positive experiences for children and young people then please contact Greg.Brown@activelincolnshire.com.
image top: Sport England